Mayor Regalado Wants to Make Sure City Gets Cut of Casino Taxes

With Genting Group ready to plop down billions on a planned new high end casino in downtown Miami after a law-changing stop in Tallahassee, few prominent politicians are opposing it, as much as they are making sure their interests get that tax money. Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado wants to make sure the City of Miami gets a cut of the taxes by filing a resolution. However, he's keeping mum about the non-taxation implications of gambling.

Today, Regalado asked the city commission to sign off on a resolution that would give the city taxing and licensing power should they approve destination gambling resorts. Two prominent Republican legislatures in both houses have already announced plans to introduce bills that would allow Genting to proceed with plans for a casino in the massive, community-changing Resorts World Miami project.

"The resolution is not in support of gaming," Regalado tells the Miami Herald. "The resolution is just in case gaming and casinos are approved."

The commission deferred the resolution until next month in order to get more information. As a side note, the prospect of tax income may grease the gears for the city to give up city-owned land Genting has its eyes on.

Regalado's ambivalence about the actual civic implications and morality of gambling is echoed by words today from Gov. Rick Scott. Scott also agrees that local municipalities should have a say in allowing gaming.

"What I have said and I've said during the campaign is I don't want our state budget to be balanced based on you know significant gaming revenues," Scott told the Sun-Sentinel today.

"I think it ought to be primarily a local decision. We have gaming in a variety of formats all over the state. But my focus is on, I don't want to balance the budget based on gaming. And I don't want to make decisions at the state level. I think they ought to be made at the local level."

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